Commentary: A diplomatic surge for Afghanistan?


As Afghan President Hamid Karzai prepares to unveil new reconciliation efforts with the Taliban at a conference this week in London on Afghanistan's political future, Lisa Schirch, director of the Ploughshares-funded 3D Security Initiative reports back from her trip to Afghanistan. “After drinking many cups of tea with over five dozen Afghan civil society leaders and government officials, one theme stood out in my notes: Afghanistan needs a coordinated, multi-pronged peace-building approach to contribute to the region's complex political chess game.”  Schirch highlights the “highly functional” Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development's National Solidarity Program’s District Development Assemblies and Community Development Councils and their work with locally elected male and female shuras, or councils, among other initiatives. Schirch says that Afghan peace-building experts warned against imposing Western-style diplomacy on Afghans "They need to do a better job of acknowledging and learning ways Afghans traditionally manage conflict, through tribal methods and Islamic ways of fostering good and cordial relations."


McClatchy News Service